Disclaimer: These are my raw feeling a couple of days after I was informed of my ex-husbands gender identity issues. These are my feelings and I own them. They are not right or wrong but they are truthful.
That’s all I can think about since October 30th.
I found out that my ex-husband, Matt had been lying to me. Our marriage was a fraud. It was filled with tension and anxiety and I thought I was going crazy. I really did, Matt even told me he thought I was crazy.
The summer we were engaged.
Let me back up just a little. When I married Matt I had NO reservations. I was excited. I had found a wonderful handsome successful man that loved me and my family. He was a sweetheart to everyone and his friends had nothing but great things to say about him. We moved in together when we got engaged and spent the next 9 months planning a wedding, traveling, enjoying our kids and talking. I wanted to talk about everything and get it all on the table. No surprises. I told him my dreams for the future, I was completely honest about my past and we even talked about our intimate life and our expectations. I asked him to be honest with me there too. I think happiness in the bedroom is a big boost to a good marriage.
Our first trip together in Mexico
At a work party
Our wedding dance.
Our marriage had our troubles of course. But they seemed like normal troubles. After about a year we were having trouble communicating; I felt that he was holding back SOMETHING. He finally wrote me a letter and handed it to me. Yes, he wrote me a letter. I wasn't too thrilled about that sort of communication but if he had things to tell me that he found hard to tell me in person then I was open to the idea.
That letter was the start of a change in my marriage. It’s hard to say what was in it, but what it said opened up a box of “things he didn't share with me before”. What was it? It’s not important and it’s very private. Did it have anything to do with what he just told me? A little, but only now when I look back can I see it. We talked, or tried to talk but I always felt like he wasn't being completely honest. That there was something that he wasn't happy about. I could be mad as hell and he wouldn't fight. He never fought. By the end of the marriage there was no fighting, laughing, loving or fun. The last year we spent in counseling. Even the counselor couldn't figure out his intense need to not “rock the boat” and be the nice guy all the time. The 3 years of spiraling downward were so confusing and so painful that I could hardly stand to be home. We had moments of happiness, but mostly just an uncomfortable quiet.
Finally we went to dinner and I told him I couldn't do it anymore.
I knew that when we separated that I would be the bitch. I mean come on! He was the nice guy. Everyone loved Matt. The neighbors, all my friends, my family and everyone that met him thought he was a sweetheart. As I went down the list I heard things like, “oh no, not Matt”. “We liked him” “I won’t have anyone to hang out with anymore”. I told lots of people by Email because I just couldn't put myself through that. I knew I was justified in my heart but sometimes I still felt like I was crazy.
Divorce is never easy. I have been set back 10 years financially, emotionally I didn't even know where to start and I was struggling with those in my life that continued a close relationship with Matt. I did my best to take the high road. I shared my dog Ted and tried not to influence my kids and allowed them to have the relationship that they wanted with him.
Now…now what? I’m so mad I feel hateful and I don’t like being that way. I hardly shed a tear during our divorce but have burst into tears multiple times since Matt informed me.
Matt is transgender. Apparently he had dressed as a woman throughout his adult life off and on. He did the classic, “If I get married and love someone it will go away” thought. He came over, not to apologize for the fraudulent marriage, but just to inform me that he will be living as a woman full time. I seriously thought something was weird and was glad he would finally live how he wanted but I did not expect transgender!
And I’m furious! I feel foolish and used. I have no problem with a transgender person. I have a problem with liars.
This is the kind of advice Matt would listen to me give our kids:
- Be true to yourself.
- Do what makes you happy and own it
- Be honest and kind and remember the rule of Karma.
- You are in charge of your life and who is in it and how they can affect you.
In other words I feel very strongly about honesty and integrity. I also feel strongly in personal independence and being true to yourself and what you want to be. I don’t know how he heard that and justified his lies.
During our counseling Matt had gone down to LA and went to some place that helps a transgender transform. Apparently he dressed up a couple of times and who knows what else a couple of times on business trips. (this would explain his sudden need to keep his goatee shaved off) Then he came home and went to counseling with me and denied any issues.
That is lying and I am livid about it.
At first I thought that being mad meant I was judging the transgender lifestyle. I have no problem with any alternative lifestyle as long as it doesn't hurt someone else. After 3 days, I’m OK with being mad. I’m OK with allowing myself to find my boundaries. As I write this my boundaries are pretty tight. But I’m walking the tips of the highest road and waiting for Matt to finish telling the people he wants to tell face to face before I post this.
Truthfully, I’d like to jump down to the low road and just go ape shit. Thankfully I've had some wonderful listening ears and great friends. Last night I told a friend at work and she looked at me and said, “What a F*#@er!”. It’s almost like she knew what I needed to hear right then. Friends – I think this experience is going to reveal my truest of friends. Like I told my son months ago, sometimes I just need someone to take my side, without reservation, for a bit.
So that’s it. It’s a process. It will take time.
Part 2 and Part 3 to follow.